Point-to-point circuit buses a hit among tourists
Each bus can seat 43 people; tickets cost Rs.60 for adults and 30 for children
— Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
Boon:Tourists boarding a circuit bus at Dodabetta in Udhagamandalam .
UDHAGAMANDALAM: On the lines of the hop-on, hop-off buses plying between Chennai and Mamallapuram, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) has introduced point-to-point circuit buses in Udhagamandalam to decongest traffic in the hill station during the summer season and provide an easy and cheaper mode of transport for the growing number of visitors.
Started on a trial basis with three buses on April 14, the TNSTC circuit buses, with a seating capacity of 43 each, have become the talk of the town.
As per the itinerary, it covers the Children’s Park, Boat House, Botanical Garden, Dodabetta, Rose Garden and the Aavin parking lot. Owing to demand, the number of buses has been increased to seven within a week’s time.
According to tourist officials, the circuit bus system is not a new concept for this hill station as TNSTC had tried out point-to-point and ‘park and ride’ services during the earlier seasons. It was improved further as it was suggested that the new system would decongest the popular hill station in the State and might act as an alternative mode of transport to the growing number of tourists.
Talking to The Hindu, TNSTC Divisional Manager, K.S. Shanmuga Velayudham said that they had fixed the fare for adults at Rs.60 and children, Rs.30.
After purchasing a ticket, the passengers can board or get off the bus at any tourist spot between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“The response from the tourists is very encouraging. Since the launch, we have fulfilled the transportation needs of thousands of tourists during the weekends and hundreds on the week days. Steps are taken to deal with breakdowns and other problems without delay. If need arises, we are prepared to run battery operated buses wherever feasible,” he added.
Police said that the introduction of circuit bus system was not only timely, but it also played a significant role in reducing traffic congestion within the town at the right juncture.
Source: The Hindu